Latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data show ages between 20 and 40 are the highest group for new cases, as vaccination rolls out across the province. (B.C. government)

Latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data show ages between 20 and 40 are the highest group for new cases, as vaccination rolls out across the province. (B.C. government)

B.C. turning a corner on COVID-19 as Christmas arrives

Younger adults still seeing the most new infections

B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate has continued to turn down since mid-November, with hot spots in the southern Interior, the Northwest and the Fraser Valley, where the highest number of diagnosed cases has been determined since fall.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented the latest modelling of B.C.’s second surge of coronavirus Dec. 23, showing the age group from 20 to 40 has the highest infection rate. School-aged children continue to test positive at low rates, with fewer than seven out of 1,000 students showing infection as testing ramped up since the start of the school year.

“Most school-aged children who have symptoms do not have COVID-19, and that remains the same as we have seen throughout the pandemic,” Henry said. “With more than 600,000 students and educators back in our school system, this is something that we have been following very carefully.”

She acknowledged that there have been many exposure events, with infected people being in the school environment when they may be contagious.

“We have been posting those regularly,” Henry said. “It does not mean that anybody has transmitted the virus in those settings, but it’s an understanding of how much risk we have in our school environment. And what we have seen is that even though we have exposure events that reflect transmission events in our community, we have very little transmission actually in schools.”

RELATED: 518 new cases Wednesday, death toll nears 800 in B.C.

RELATED: Ottawa approves Moderna vaccine, 40,000 doses on way

Contact tracing to contain community outbreaks has been strained, particularly in the Fraser Health region and in northern B.C., where remote and sparse population is more difficult to reach.

“Most of our cases continue to be linked to a known case or outbreak,” Henry said. “That’s important for us. That means we have not lost the ability to do contact tracing.”

With the second vaccine from Moderna approved for use in Canada, B.C. and other provinces are expecting to start receiving it next week. Pfizer has approved use of its vaccine from more locations outside of the company’s delivery points, allowing more detailed plans, including at-risk remote Indigenous communities.

The first target by the end of February is reaching 150,000 residents and staff of long-term care and assisted living facilities, as well as essential visitors to those facilities, front-line health care workers and 25,000 people in remote and isolated Indigenous communities.

The second priority group for February and March is 400,000 community-based seniors, homeless people, provincial prisons, residential adult mental health patients, long-term care and hospital support staff, community physicians and medical specialists.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Snowboarders at Revelstoke Mountain Resort heading for the gondola. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Updated: Another 16 COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke

The cases were identified between Jan. 3 and 9

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read